US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford posted a photo on the US Embassy’s Facebook
page depicting a “probable mass burial” in the Syrian town of Tall Daww,
larger version of the image, click here.
In an accompanying message, Ford called the massacre in Houla “the
most unambiguous indictment of the regime to date,” adding that it “clearly
illustrates Syrian government’s flagrant violations of its UN Security Council
obligations under Resolutions 2042 and 2043 along with the regime’s ongoing
threat to peace and security.”
Ford’s post came as a US government
website on Friday published what it said was photographic evidence of mass
graves and attacks on civilian areas by Syrian government forces.
website, operated by a bureau of the State Department, published a series of
overhead photos, taken earlier last week by commercial satellite, showing what
it said were mass graves dug following a massacre near the town of Houla. It
also highlights before and after satellite pictures showing mass graves near
They also showed apparent artillery impact craters near civilian
areas of a town called Atarib.
Included on the Web page are pictures that
apparently show artillery deployed as of Thursday near three Syrian towns and
attack helicopters deployed near the towns of Shayrat and Homs.
UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari did not have an immediate reaction when reached by
More than 100 men, women and children were massacred in Houla
last week, most of them shot at point-blank range or slashed with
Ford expanded on the details of the massacre, stating that at
least 30 children under the age of 10 were killed, and adding that there were
reports that families were summarily executed in their homes.
ambassador placed blame for the massacre squarely on Syrian President Bashar
Assad, saying that forces had used tanks and artillery to commit the crime.
These are “weapons that only the regime possesses,” Ford stated.
has blamed the massacre on the opposition. Russia, which has used its veto
powers to prevent the UN Security Council from sanctioning Syria, blames
Islamists for the Houla massacre.
Turning to Iran, Ford said that “the
Iranian regime’s interests are deeply embedded in the Assad regime’s survival –
it is directly supporting the Syrian government through lethal and nonlethal
means, and its Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] and intelligence services are
coaching the Syrian military.”
Ford singled out Iran’s elite Quds force
for assisting Assad in carrying out attacks against civilians.
IRGC’s Quds force, which takes explicit instruction from the Iranian regime,
appears to be helping set up the sectarian government-affiliated militias in
Syria commonly referred to as the Shabiha.”
Reuters contributed to this